Edinburgh, Scotland is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and the perfect place for a weekend getaway! The cobblestones and medieval feel paired with tiny cafes and the best pubs around make it feel like you just stepped back in time, to the most perfect little town. Here are some of the top things to do and see when exploring!
1. Visit the National Museum of Scotland
This museum is FREE and is right in the heart of the city. Explore classic exhibits featuring Scottish artifacts and art from the likes of Andy Warhol for the perfect way to spend a few hours. While you’re there, make sure to head up to the roof for a gorgeous panoramic view of the city!
2. Stroll through the Grassmarket
From Victoria Street’s brightly colored buildings, to small quirky pubs and amazing shops like Mary’s Milk Bar, the Grassmarket is just south of the castle and is a charming place to wander and pop in for a pint, coffee, or delicious pub grub.
3. Wander down the royal mile
Ending at the Edinburgh castle, the royal mile is a beautifully ornate street in the center of everything. Enjoy sights like St. Giles’ Cathedral (enter on a donation basis), and plenty of pubs (have I mentioned the Scottish love to enjoy a good pint) and enjoy the heart of the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh!
4. Don’t miss the scotch whisky experience
Home to one of the most elaborate whisky collections in the world, hop on a tour that feels more like an amusement park ride (don’t worry, the drinking comes after you’re back on solid ground) and see firsthand how scotch whisky is made! The silver tour comes with everything you need to experience and gives you a single tasting and a tasting glass. Upgrade to one of their other tours for a more in-depth experience. No matter what you choose, this is truly an awesome way to spend an hour or two!
5. Head over to Dean’s Village
A truly hidden gem in Edinburgh, Dean’s Village feels like you’re standing in the middle of a postcard! It’s just outside of the hustle and bustle of the city and is easily walkable from the center. Easily one of the most picturesque spots in the whole city!
6. Hike Arthur’s Seat
Overlook all of Edinburgh from this beautiful viewpoint. You can hike or even grab an uber to the top for a gorgeous panoramic view!
7. Sneak over to Leith
For a more local feel, grab a cab or bus down to the waterfront area, Leith. The pubs are filled with locals who know each other by name and a stroll along the waterfront is enough to make anyone feel like they want to see more.
8. Enjoy a traditional pub
Edinburgh is filled with pubs in every nook and cranny of the city! One of the more famous ones of course is Greyfriars Bobby and even if you don’t grab a pint there, it’s still beautiful to photograph! Looking for a more authentic feel or some amazing music, head to The Golf Tavern, Frankenstein, or my personal favorite, Finnegans Wake!
9. Dine at their best restaurants
From bangers and mash to a delightful bowl of French Onion Soup, Edinburgh has some beautiful little restaurants that offer some incredible food. Some favorites are Maison Bleue, The Apartment, Fiddlers Arms and Forage & Chatter.
10. Grab a delicious cup of joe
No trip to Edinburgh is complete without taking advantage of their amazing coffee shops. Some of the best cafes live in tiny buildings with medieval lighting and ambiance and this city is filled to the brim with them! Some of my personal favorites are Machina Espresso, Mary’s Milk Bar, Brewlab coffee and Spoon.
Whether you’re looking for history, a harry potter tour, or just a nice getaway with whisky, great music and bangers and mash, Edinburgh has it all!